Faces of Tamworth: Jack Davis

Jack Davis goes for a spin around the Tamworth BMX Track. Photo: Peter Hardin
Jack Davis goes for a spin around the Tamworth BMX Track. Photo: Peter Hardin

Jack Davis may still be in his teens but the BMX rider has achieved plenty. In the world of BMX, the youngster has raced on the state, national and international stage. He’s also competed on the international stage in Olympic-style weightlifting and locally he was named Sports Person of the Year at last year’s Tamworth Regional Council Sports Awards.

Jack Davis has described reclaiming his national number one plate as a “weight off my shoulders”.

The Tamworth BMX rider took out the 16-years boys final in Saturday’s Australian Championship in Bunbury after finishing second in the Oceania Contintental Championships earlier this year.

“The win really meant a lot to me. There’s a lot of hard work that has gone into it,” Davis said from Western Australia where he is staying on with his family for a well-earned holiday.

He will be straight back into it though when he returns, as he eyes off the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in June.

“That will be a cool experience to go over there and ride,” Davis said.

The Farrer student headed to Bunbury looking for redemption after unluckily crashing out in the final last year and failing to defend the coveted national title he finally won 2016.

He got his campaign off to a good start in the Oceania championships.

After winning all of his mottos, Davis was then placed third in his semi-final before taking silver behind Western Australia’s Corey Taylor.

Using the championships more for a bit of track time, Davis said he drew a lot of confidence from how he raced.

“I rode really well that day. That made me feel pretty confident,” he said.

“Going into Saturday I knew there were a couple of things that needed to be modified.” 

Elaborating, he spoke about going into certain corners at tighter angles and doing a few differing things over different jumps.

Following a similar script to the Oceania champs, Davis was first in his first and third mottos and was second in the other. He then won his quarter final before finishing third in his semi.

“I chose the inside in the semi and the kid on the gate outside of me had a great day and blocked me out,” Davis said.

It was enough to get him into the final, which was the important thing.

He chose one of the middle gates for the final race and had the quickest reaction time of the field of 2.375secs.

“I had a really good gate and took advantage of that. I moved across and was basically leading the whole lap,” he said.

He clocked 33.305secs, which was his fastest time of the day and comparable with all the older age groups.

TAKING ON ANOTHER SPORT

DUAL: Jack Davis has taken a liking to weightlifting and will compete at the Oceania Championships on the Gold Coast. Photo: Peter Hardin

DUAL: Jack Davis has taken a liking to weightlifting and will compete at the Oceania Championships on the Gold Coast. Photo: Peter Hardin

As if representing Australia on the international stage in one sport wasn’t enough, Tamworth’s Jack Davis will add another feather to his cap in a fortnight’s time.

Following a fourth place in the under 15 boys category at the UCI BMX World Championships in Rock Hill at the end of July, the sporting wunderkind will now switch gears and take on Oceania’s best in Olympic-style weightlifting next month.

Davis’ weightlifting journey all started to improve his BMX riding.

The average person on the street wouldn’t be able to make the connection between the two sports but the explosive power needed in weightlifting is the same as that needed in on the BMX track.

“I started lifting weights at 11 years old which is pretty young but it was never anything really heavy and it was just for BMX,” Davis explained.

“I was doing a lot of fitness, too with all the cross fit stuff and then we found Olympic weightlifting complimented BMX more so we just solely started doing that.

“It helps you get stronger and improves your power which is perfect for BMX, that’s what you need in BMX, you need power.”

It quickly became clear the 15-year-old wasn’t half bad at weightlifting and he enjoyed it, too.

Fast forward to July this year, Davis competed in the 69-kilogram class at the Australian Under 15 and Youth Championships.

The progression to the Oceania Championships came after he jokingly asked for 90 kilograms to be put on the bars for his final clean and jerk lift and, as if written in a movie script, he nailed it.

“I was confident in myself but I originally said it jokingly,” Davis said.

“So, I never thought that it was actually going to happen but my coach put it on there and as soon as that happened, the adrenaline started flowing through me.

“I think that’s what helped me get the lift in that situation with all the people there, all the eyes on you.”

The strive to improve at weightlifting all funnels back to his BMX riding.

The weights were just one component to a busy training schedule that saw Davis take out fourth at the BMX world titles.

“It was really good, there was a lot of hard work that paid off, I was really happy,” Davis said of his fourth placing.

“I would have been disappointed if I didn't make it to the top eight – the final – and I’m really glad I did.

“I actually think for once I deserved to be there and was training hard all year and that was my sole goal so I’m glad it was a good result.”

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